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Old 03-08-2019, 01:13 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
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Leaking Corning-Philips 1968 Windows

Hello people of the forums!

I have a 1968 Airstream Overlander. The windows leak. No surprise there right? I have been doing lots of reading on how you all have gone about re-sealing these things. Here are some questions and details:

How do I tell if my glass is upside down? I hear this was a common problem when people replaced the curved glass.

I have around a 0.5 x 2cm gap at the top left of my bedroom window between the glass and the exterior of the trailer at the metal hinge contraption that secures the top of the window to the trailer (as in, when I put my head against the window interior and look left, I can see through the gap directly to outside). Why?? Is this normal and just needs to be corrected with new gaskets? I have some of the hollow D kind from Home Depot. I also read a post specific to 1968 windows where there was an L shaped metal piece that needed to be removed from the window frame in order to slide the window glass out of the hinge sideways. I don't have that piece. Could that be contributing to the gap and leaks?

Is it worth replacing all the window hardware (cranks, arms, clips, etc.)? Some of mine are missing, but for the ones that still work (albeit slowly and precariously) should I replace them? Is it easy to install those replacement pieces? Do they really improve the function of the windows?

Is it actually worth it to remove the windows, take them all apart and clean everything? Seems like a puzzle I wouldn't be able to put back together but I'm curious to hear all your thoughts.

At this point I'm just considering putting eyebrows on everything. The horror! I honestly don't think they're that bad looking, and if they significantly reduce leaks I'm not sure why I wouldn't go for it.

As always any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:39 PM   #2
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Everything inside the VTS replacement "winders" is an exact replacement for the original parts. You can keep the original Corning-Philips stainless covers, if you prefer not to have the shiny new VTS logo. They're quite simple inside and easily rebuilt.


If your windows don't have the Corning-Philips bug in the lower corner, they are "replacement glass", and yes, they may not fit 100%. Some of the earlier batches fit better upside-down, so says Frank's Trailer Works. It's a tricky blend of compound curve, fulcrum, temper, and glass thickness that only Corning knows.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
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You'll find Tom's 1967 Overlander web site helpful. Scroll down to the bottom of the blue menu on the left and you will find some information on windows.
Here's the link: http://www.knology.net/~tcwilliams/AirstreamIndex.htm.

Don't waste your time taking the windows and frames apart if the window is intact and connected to the frame at the top. Focus on very carefully and gently bending the aluminum lip where the seal attaches to better conform to the curvature of the window and replacing the seals. Tom does a good job of describing seal replacement on his site.

No need to replace the old hardware if it works and is not too worn out. You won't see much improvement. I sprayed, soaked, and cleaned my window hardware while still attached with Liquid Wrench several times until it worked smoothly. Missing hardware was replaced with new from VTS which does not work much better than the old stuff. The windows on my 67 overlander all work well and do not leak, but it took a lot of time and effort.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:31 PM   #4
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Corning made the glass, Philips made the aluminum frames. There were three types of Corning-Philips windows, noted as type I, II, and III. Generally speaking, '66,'67,'68… BUT there was some early-late year production overlaps, so, for example, it's not impossible for a 1967 to have type I windows. Wouldn't be a surprise if there was some California vs Ohio date differences. Would like to have type IV, V and beyond to see if Airstream could ever get them to be 100% non-leakers. It's a frail design, but a valiant aesthetic effort. Nothing is that smooth outside.

The latest “most improved” 1968 type III version will have a stainless steel edge guard on the glass, and the tiny little stainless end clips in the two-piece glass bar. The 1968 two piece glass bar uses foam tape, not silicone. The reason to separate the 1968 glass bar and replace the foam tape is because the foam deteriorates and the glass falls out unexpectedly. There are several accounts of this happening.

"BUG" is what glaziers call the logo

You can leave the hinge side of the glass bar in the window frame and only remove the clamping half. Some of the screws in your glass bar will likely break due to dissimilar metal corrosion. Sometimes it's less hassle to drill and tap an adjacent new hole than to remove corroded broken screw.

The 1966 single extrusion glass bar uses silicone to bed the glass. Not to be confused with “Andy R's” leak sealing method. Again, 1967 could be either. The glass won't fall out of the '66 glass bar. In the “olden days”, Airstream only sold replacement 1966 glass with the bar attached. It is very difficult to remove 1966 glass from its bar. Probably why the two-piece type II bar was developed. I don't think you'll easily find the double feather replacement seals today. There's the hollow “D” from Inland and VTS solid foam. Either works. I had great luck with the VTS foam. Don't use box-store residential seals.

It's some work to find and decipher all that's said and explained within Airforums about these windows, and there are some contradictory opinions. They can be resealed to not leaking condition, it's an effort. Best to have a helper, tough to do alone.


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Old 03-08-2019, 11:08 PM   #5
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Micro blinds and invisible screens for '66-'68

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...nt-111812.html
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:50 AM   #6
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I have a 66, so joining this very informative thread.

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Old 03-09-2019, 07:01 AM   #7
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The difference between the two piece and single piece glass bars


It's said that they are not interchangeable


In the 1968 owners manual the directions for glass replacement are copied from the 1966 manual, and of little use. Figures 81a and 81b are for type I.


The elusive original feathered rubber seal in cross section
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:18 AM   #8
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The reason to use foam tape instead of silicone, silastic, butyl, etc to bed 1968 windows is that it's not only a clean and easy method, but the tape centers the glass within the clamp in the precise way that Corning-Philips designed. Using a calk sealant may misalign the grip angle, and/or cause more or less clearance to the rubber gasket.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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Here's a picture of the street-side windows of my 68GT. Gee, sorta hard to see eh? They sure do blend in with the body contour. That's the primary (perhaps only) reason to admire them. Of course, they'll blow away if you travel with them unlatched, or leave them open on a windy day.

Dripcaps will deflect falling rain, but not wind-driven rain. They may also, depending on installation, prevent removal of the head-rail hinge, as the window has to be elevated/opened beyond horizontal to drop out of the frame. Dripcaps require many more holes in your trailer. More holes, more leak points.

A decade+ ago on Airforums, folks were warning not to get a '66-'68 Airstream because of the awful windows that had no replacement parts. We're thankful that VTS and Inland stepped up with nearly everything needed to restore them.

The 2 or 3 clips along the bottom of glass are remanufactured in three sizes of stainless steel. Original Corning glass thickness, replacement glass thickness, and 1968 stainless edge thickness. Good luck finding correct size. The originals are spring-steel in two thickness'... Corning glass and 1968 stainless edge.

It's very possible to restore 1968 windows to non-leaking. The only time I found a little dribble in the GT's sill was the windward side, morning after an all night Lake Superior Gale. I was happy to still be on the beach.


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Old 03-18-2019, 02:09 PM   #10
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Thank you!

Thank you so much ALUMINUMINUM for your responses! You do seem to be a window expert (as close as one could get anyways). The diagrams and pictures are especially helpful. I decided to take some pictures of the "problem spots" on my windows. They also definitely do not have the logo in the corner - so either installed upside down or replacements I guess. Also, as you can see in the last picture, I am missing a bunch of screws on that lowest interior metal piece. One window literally had none. What exactly do those screws hold in and will replacing them help with leaking?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:09 PM   #11
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The airspace you see is because the gasket isn't there. The gasket should be fitted all the way up to the top rail. The flat foam gasket from VTS fits up in there nicely. I'd expect that the hollow-D gasket fits up in there, but for whatever reason, your gasket isn't correctly installed.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:40 PM   #12
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Are you saying that there are no screws in your clamp-bar??
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #13
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Thanks for the diagram! It also seems that metal piece at the top left has been bent towards the interior of the trailer so perhaps I can bend it back.

Here are two pictures of two windows, one with all the screws intact and one with none. Perhaps this is the clamp bar?? I have no idea
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargirl View Post
Thanks for the diagram! It also seems that metal piece at the top left has been bent towards the interior of the trailer so perhaps I can bend it back.

Here are two pictures of two windows, one with all the screws intact and one with none. Perhaps this is the clamp bar?? I have no idea
That is indeed the clamp bar. The adhesive tape or sealant is all that is holding that glass in right now. Be careful until you are able to replace the screws.
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